There have been various rumors regarding governments trying to spy on consumers to identify illegal or illicit activity over the Internet. Bundestrojaner, which is allegedly used by the German government, seem to work only with Skype, and on the Windows platform. There does not appear to be any support for mobile operating systems, or any the other main computer OSes.
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Bundestrojaner Government Spyware Has Limited Use
Even though Windows is the most common operating system among computer users, questions are raised when it turns out government spyware can only target this particular platform. To make matters even stranger, Bundestrojaner can only execute correctly when the individual makes use of Skype on the Windows platform.
Anonymous sources have told German publication Die Welt how the revamped version of Bundestrojaner is designed to be placed on peripheral devices owned by terrorism suspects. In a perfect world, this would circumvent end-to-end encryption altogether, but that would only be the case if the malware weren’t so lackluster regarding its viability. Keeping in mind how Bundestrojaner can’t even access most popular communication tools, there seems to be little use in deploying the software at all.
While there is a case to be made for preventing secure communication between terrorists, being compatible with only Windows and Skype will not help the German government all that much. WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram are among the most popular social messaging networks in the world, and Bundestrojaner cannot break the end-to-end encryption of those platforms.
These same anonymous sources told Die Welt how the revised version of the malware was deployed by German police and law enforcement on February 22nd. Revising this malware was direly needed, as the first iteration was not only badly coded but also in violation of German law. Despite all of that, Bundestrojaner has been used for several years, before being replaced with the new version.
When governments actively pay hackers to put together a spyware kit in the hopes of bypassing end-to-end encryption, the future for our society seems questionable at best. Terrorism is an issue that needs to be tackled, but it should not require sacrificing consumer privacy. For the time being, it does not look like Bundestrojaner will be a threat to Bitcoin users although it is always advised to err on the side of caution.
What are your thoughts on Bundestrojaner and governments using spyware in general? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Tweakers (Dutch)
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Kaspersky